NT2776 : Lamb's House, Burgess Street

taken 9 years ago, near to Leith, Edinburgh, Great Britain

Lamb's House, Burgess Street
Lamb's House, Burgess Street
An early 17thC merchant's house, used latterly as a Day Centre for the Elderly, awaits a new future. It was completed in 1610.

Despite its later date, tradition has it that Mary, Queen of Scots, on landing in Leith in 1561 and finding no official reception party to welcome her, "remainit in Andro Lamb's hous be the space of ane houre" until she was escorted to Holyrood Palace in the early evening. This account is at variance with another by one of her courtiers, Pierre de Bourdeilles, who describes a warm welcome, although Mary seems to have been less than impressed. He wrote, "We were coming in to land at Leith, when all the principal people of Leith and Edinburgh rushed up to welcome their Queen ... on seeing such preparations, the Queen burst into tears and said, these were not the pomp and pageantry, the magnificence ... she had enjoyed so long, but since her paradise must be changed into hell, she must be patient."

Knox explains the lack of preparation for her arrival as follows, "The ninetein Day of August 1561 Yeirs, betwene seven and eicht Hours Befoirnone, arryved Marie Quene of Scotland, then Wedo, with two Gallies furth of France... Becaus the Palace of Halyrudehous was not throuchly put in Ordour (for hir cumming was more suddane then many luiked for), sche remained in Leyth, till towards the Evening, and then repaired thither".

His description of her arrival shows that he, too, was less than enthusiastic about her coming.

"...the very face of heaven dod manifestlie speak what comfort was brought to this country with hir - to wit, sorrow, dolour, darkness, and all impiety; for in the memory of man never was seyn a more dolorous face of the heaven than was at her arryvall ... the myst was so thick that skairse mycht onie man espy another; and the sun was not seyn to shyne two days befoir nor two days after."

NT2573 : William Hole painting in the City Chambers

The discrepancy between the date of Mary's arrival and the house's later building date suggests that Lamb inhabited an earlier house on or near the site before this building was erected.

The link shows how the house looked in better days NT2776 : Andrew Lamb's House

For a view of the building after renovation, see NT2776 : Lamb's House, Burgess Street
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NT2776, 525 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 13 October, 2009   (more nearby)
Thursday, 15 October, 2009
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts 
Historic house   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 271 764 [100m precision]
WGS84: 55:58.5127N 3:10.1819W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 270 763
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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Other Tags
Mary Queen of Scots  John Knox 

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